2012/L1 The Fiôván Elections and Referendum Law (Fiova)

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This law is currently
IN FORCE

Sponsored by: Miestrâ Schivâ, UrN

Approved by:
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Pictogram per.png 3Pictogram contra.png 0Pictogram austeneu.png 1
Date: 9 June 2012/XXXIII

IT HAS BEEN AMENDED BY:
2013/L1
2014/L1
2014/L2
2014/L3
2014/L4
2014/L5
2014/L6
2014/L7
2014/L8
2017/L2
Read previous versions of this act

Fiôvâ Provincial Chancery

TITLE I: Responsible Officials

  1. The Secretary of State shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
  2. The Secretary of State may appoint other officials to assist him or her in his duties.

TITLE II: Voting Procedure

  1. This section shall apply equally to elections for the Capitán of Fiôvâ, the Senator from Fiôvâ, the Praisidíeu of Fiôvâ's General Assembly, and to referendums.
    1. In this Act, the phrase "ballot paper" shall be taken to mean a physical ballot paper, the visual interface of an online voting system, or any other means which the Secretary of State might design under the provisions of this section. "Electors" shall signify all citizens of Fiôvâ eligible to vote.
  2. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Secretary of State shall for each vote establish a voting system which enables all citizens willing and eligible to vote to do so. The Secretary shall not be liable for citizens being unable to vote due to unforseeable circumstances.
    1. This system may involve online voting, paper ballots, or any other method of recording votes consistent with this Act and with the Constitution. If the election is to be conducted electronically, the Secretary of State will also devise and publish a non-electronic method of voting if there are citizens who lack such access.
    2. Every method of voting used shall be anonymous, whereby each voter's identity is recorded as having voted, but it is not possible to connect any voter with any particular vote.
  3. The voting period for all elections shall be fourteen days, beginning once the ballot paper has been made available to all electors. The Secretary of State may, if in the circumstances it seems expedient to the creation of fairer elections, extend the deadline for voting.
  4. The ballot paper shall be designed as provided elsewhere in this Act. It may also contain other impartial information, including instructions on how to cast a valid vote. The Secretary of State shall not publish any information that can reasonably be seen to create an advantage for any party to the vote.
  5. The Secretary of State shall maintain a list of electors, with their electronic and postal details attached, and shall communicate the ballot paper and voting instructions to the electors in a personalised manner, such as by email, postal mail, telephone call or text message once the ballot paper is available, as well as making this information publicly available on the National Webspace. The Secretary of State shall issue two reminders in a personalised manner as above with the same information to voters, the first no later than seven days before the deadline for voting, and the second no later than three days before the deadline for voting.
  6. All vote totals and count details, except those which might undermine the secrecy of the ballot, shall be published by the Secretary of State after the election is completed, to ensure the transparency of the system. No details of votes or counts shall be published before the election is completed.
  7. All people who are or become citizens of Fiôvâ during the voting period, and are of at least fourteen years of age, are eligible to vote in any election covered by this Code.

TITLE III: Procedures for Elections

  1. The Secretary of State shall call for nominations for Capitán, for Senator or for the Praisidíeu whenever an election for this position becomes due under the Constitution, or Organic Law in the case of the position of Senator.
    1. A nomination as described above shall include:
      the candidate's full name;
      their party affiliation (if any); and
      a statement, no longer than fifty words, of the candidate’s aims and objectives.
    2. The abovementioned nominations shall be communicated to the Secretary of State, no more than seven days after the opening of nominations. The Secretary of State may, if in the circumstances it seems expedient to the creation of fairer elections, extend the deadline for nomination.
    3. Upon the receipt of the nomination, if the nomination is in order, the Secretary of State shall confirm to the candidate that their nomination has been accepted.
    1. Upon the day following the close of nominations for the election of the Capitán, if no nominations have been received, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then restart the election process at a time of his/her choosing.
    2. Upon the day following the close of nominations for the election of the Senator, if no nominations have been received, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then immediately restart the election process; if again no nominations have been received, then Fiôvâ's Senäts’ seat should be declared vacant.
    3. Upon the day following the close of nominations for the election of the Praisidíeu, if no nominations have been received, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then restart the election process at a time of his/her choosing. If the number of nominations received is less than or equal to the number of seats in the Praisidíeu, the Secretary shall declare all nominated candidates elected, and the remaining seat or seats to be vacant.
  2. If none of the circumstances in section 3 above pertain, then the Secretary of State shall publish the names of all candidates standing, as well as their fifty word statements. Seven days following that, s/he shall make the ballot paper available to all electors as outlined below.
    1. A political party may endorse a candidate, whether or not the candidate his or herself states his party affiliation, by publicly acknowledging it upon their publication by the Secretary.
    2. If the Secretary of State is his or herself one of the candidates for the election, then they shall appoint one or more Deputies as provided in Title I.2, and shall delegate all their functions under this Act for the remainder of that election to such Deputies.
  3. The ballot paper for an election shall be prepared as follows:
    1. the names of the candidates, in the form of the candidate's surname followed by his or her initials, shall appear on the ballot paper in a random order;
    2. each ballot paper shall have an "PRESENT" option listed last on the ballot paper after the names of all the candidates; and
    3. a box shall appear to beside each name and beside the "PRESENT" option. This is the box in which electors will fill out their preferences.
  4. To vote, each voter shall then place a number in the box next to the name of each candidate they wish to vote for in order of preference, with "1" being the first preference, "2" being the second preference and so on, for as many preferences as they desire.
    1. If the elector does not wish to vote for any candidate, they shall place a number "1" in the box next to the "PRESENT" option. Any further preferences expressed after the "PRESENT" option shall be of no effect.
    2. A ballot paper on which no "1" preference appears shall also be counted as a PRESENT vote.
    3. PRESENT votes shall not be counted towards any candidate, and shall not be used in determining the quota.
    4. If more than half of the ballots are PRESENT, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then restart the election process at a time of his/her choosing.
  5. At the close of the voting period, the Secretary of State shall either ascertain the successful candidate or candidates in accordance with Title 5 of this Act, Unless the election is void, the Secretary shall then declare the names of the successful candidates.
    1. If the election of the Senator is void according to Title V, then Fiôvâ's Senäts seat should be declared vacant.

TITLE IV: Referendums

  1. When a matter is submitted to the electors as provided by law, the Secretary of State shall announce a referendum specifying the matter to be submitted to the electors. Seven days after this, s/he shall make the ballot paper available to all electors.
  2. Subject to s.2 of Section 2 of this Act, the ballot paper shall present the question to be decided, followed by three options of equal prominence, labelled "për", "contrâ" and "austenéu".
  3. The Secretary of State shall officially announce the result of the referendum as soon as possible after the close of the voting period. If more 'për' votes have been received than 'contrâ' votes, then the referendum shall be deemed to have passed; otherwise, it shall be deemed to have failed.

TITLE V: Counting Votes for Elections

  1. INTERPRETATION. In this Title, unless the contrary intention appears-

    "ballot paper" means a ballot paper which expresses one or more preferences in clear ranked order starting with 1.

    "continuing candidate" means a candidate, other than a successful candidate, an excluded candidate or a candidate who ceased to be a citizen before polling day.

    "count" means an allotment of votes under clause 3.1, 6.3, or 9.2.3.

    "count votes—see clause 1.1.

    "election" means an election for Capitán of Fiôva, Senator from Fiôvâ, or for the Praisidíeu of the General Assembly of Fiôvâ.

    "excluded candidate" means a candidate excluded under clause 8.

    "next available preference" means the next highest preference recorded for a continuing candidate on a ballot paper.

    "quota" —see clause 1.2;

    "Secretary" means the provincial Secretary of State of Fiôvâ.

    "successful candidate" means a candidate who is successful under clause 3, 4, 6, or 9.

    "surplus", in relation to a successful candidate, means the candidate’s total votes less the quota, if the resulting number of votes is 1/100 (0.01) or greater.

    "total votes", in relation to a candidate, means the sum of all votes allotted to the candidate."transfer value"—see clause 1.3.

    1. MEANING OF "COUNT VOTES"
      1. For this Title, count votes, in relation to a candidate, means the number of votes worked out as follows, rounded to the nearest 1/100th, or to 2 decimal places: BP * TV
      2. In this clause:
        BP means the number of ballot papers to be dealt with at a count that record the next available preference for the candidate.
        TV means the transfer value of those ballot papers.
    2. MEANING OF "QUOTA"
      1. For this Title, quota means the quota of an electorate for an election worked out as follows, rounded to the nearest 1/100th, or to 2 decimal places: BP/(N+1) + 0.01
      2. In this clause:
        BP means the number of ballot papers for the election.
        N means the number of positions to be filled at the election.
    3. MEANING OF "TRANSFER VALUE"
      1. For this Title, the transfer value of a ballot paper is the transfer value worked out under this clause.
      2. For the allotment of votes from the surplus of a successful candidate, the transfer value of a ballot paper that specifies a next available preference is worked out as follows: S/CP
      3. For the allotment of votes under clause 9.2.3 (Votes of excluded candidates), the transfer value is—
        1. for a ballot paper in relation to which votes were allotted to the excluded candidate under clause 3 (First preferences) — 1; or
        2. for a ballot paper in relation to which count votes were allotted to the excluded candidate under clause 6.3 (Surplus votes) or clause 9.2.3 (Votes of excluded candidates)—the transfer value of the ballot paper when counted for that allotment.
        3. However, if the transfer value of a ballot paper worked out in accordance with 1.2.2 would be greater than the transfer value of the ballot paper when counted for the successful candidate, the transfer value of that ballot paper is the transfer value of the ballot paper when counted for the successful candidate.
        4. In this clause:
          CP means the number of ballot papers counted for the candidate at the count at which the candidate became successful and that specify a next available preference.
          S means the surplus.
  2. DISREGARDING PREFERENCES
    1. If the same number is marked in 2 or more candidate squares on a ballot paper, those numbers and any greater number shall be disregarded in determining the elector’s preferences.
    2. If a number is missing from the series of consecutive whole numbers marked in the candidate squares on a ballot paper, the missing number and any greater number shall be disregarded in determining the elector’s preferences.
  3. FIRST PREFERENCES
    1. For each ballot paper recording a first preference for a continuing candidate, 1 vote shall be allotted to the candidate.
    2. For subclause 3.1, a ballot paper on which a first preference for a candidate who ceased to be a citizen before polling day is recorded shall be taken to record a first preference for the candidate for whom the next available preference is recorded.
    3. After the allotment of votes under subclause 3.1, each continuing candidate’s total votes shall be calculated and, if the votes equal or exceed the quota, the candidate is successful.
  4. SCRUTINY TO CEASE
    1. If, after a calculation under clause 3.3, 6.4 or 9.2.4, the number of successful candidates is equal to the number of positions to be filled, the scrutiny shall cease.
    2. If, after a calculation under clause 3.3 or 6.4 or after all the ballot papers counted for an excluded candidate have been dealt with under clause 9—
      1. the number of continuing candidates is equal to the number of positions remaining to be filled; and
      2. no successful candidate has a surplus not already dealt with under clause 6;
      each of those continuing candidates is successful and the scrutiny shall cease.
  5. SCRUTINY TO CONTINUE. If the scrutiny has not ceased in accordance with clause 4 and—
    1. 1 or more successful candidates have a surplus not already dealt with under clause 6—subject to clause 4, each surplus shall be dealt with in accordance with clause 6; or
    2. there are no successful candidates with such a surplus—1 continuing candidate shall be excluded in accordance with clause 8 and the ballot papers counted for him or her shall be dealt with in accordance with clause 9.
  6. SURPLUS VOTES
    1. Subject to clause 7, this clause applies in relation to the surplus of a successful candidate.
    2. Each ballot paper counted for the purpose of allotting votes to the successful candidate at the count at which the candidate became successful shall be dealt with as follows:
      1. if it does not specify a next available preference—it shall be set aside as finally dealt with for this part;
      2. if it specifies a next available preference—it shall be grouped according to the candidate for whom that preference is recorded.
    3. The count votes for each continuing candidate shall be determined and allotted to him or her.
    4. After the allotment under subclause 6.3, the continuing candidates’ total votes shall be calculated and, if the total votes of a candidate equal or exceed the quota, the candidate is successful.
  7. MORE THAN 1 SURPLUS
    1. In this clause—
      1. a reference to a successful candidate is a reference to a successful candidate with a surplus not already dealt with under clause 6; and
      2. a reference to the earliest count is a reference to the earliest count at which a successful candidate obtained a quota.
    2. If there are 2 or more successful candidates, the surplus of the relevant candidate shall be dealt with in accordance with clause 6.
    3. For subclause 7.2—
      1. if only 1 successful candidate obtained a quota at the earliest count—that candidate is the relevant candidate;
      2. if 2 or more successful candidates obtained a quota at the earliest count—the candidate who, of those candidates, has the largest surplus is the relevant candidate; or
      3. if 2 or more successful candidates (contemporary candidates) who obtained a quota at the earliest count have the same surplus, being a surplus larger than that of any other candidate who obtained a quota at the count and—
        1. 1 of the contemporary candidates had more total votes than any other contemporary candidate at the last count—that candidate is the relevant candidate; or
        2. 2 or more contemporary candidates have the same total votes, being a total larger than that of any other contemporary candidate (a non-tied contemporary candidate) at the last count—each non-tied contemporary candidate is no longer considered under this clause and—
          1. subparagraph 7.3.3.1 and this subparagraph are applied to each preceding count until a relevant candidate is worked out; or
          2. if a relevant candidate cannot be worked out by applying subparagraph 7.3.3.1 and this subparagraph to the preceding count—the contemporary candidate who is determined by the commissioner by lot is the relevant candidate.
  8. EXCLUSION OF CANDIDATES
    1. If clause 5 requires a candidate to be excluded, the candidate with the least total votes shall be excluded.
    2. If 2 or more candidates each have the same total votes, being fewer total votes than any other candidate and—
      1. 1 of the candidates had fewer total votes than any other of the candidates at the last count—that candidate is excluded; or
      2. 2 or more of the candidates have the same total votes, being a total fewer than that of any other candidate (a non-tied candidate) at the last count—each non-tied candidate is no longer considered under this clause and—
        1. paragraph 8.2.1 and this paragraph are applied to each preceding count until 1 candidate is excluded; or
        2. if 1 candidate cannot be excluded by applying paragraph (a) and this paragraph to the preceding count—the candidate who is determined by the Secretary of State by lot is excluded.
  9. VOTES OF EXCLUDED CANDIDATES
    1. If a candidate is excluded in accordance with clause 8, the ballot papers counted for the candidate shall be sorted into groups according to their transfer values when counted for him or her.
    2. Subject to subclause 9.3, each group under subclause 9.1 shall be dealt with as follows:
      1. if a ballot paper in the group does not specify a next available preference—it shall be set aside as finally dealt with for this part;
      2. if a ballot paper in the group specifies a next available preference—it shall be grouped according to the candidate for whom that preference is recorded;
      3. each continuing candidate’s count votes shall be determined and allotted to him or her;
      4. continuing candidates’ total votes shall be calculated and, if the votes of any of those candidates equal or exceed the quota, the candidate is successful.
    3. The groups referred to in subclause 9.1 shall be dealt with under subclause 9.2 starting with the group with the highest transfer value and, subject to subclause 4.1, continuing in descending order until all the groups have been dealt with.
  10. SETTING ASIDE BALLOT PAPERS. If, after a calculation under clause 3.3, 6.4 or 9.2.4, the total votes of a candidate who became successful on that calculation equal the quota, the ballot papers counted for that candidate shall be set aside for this part.
  11. VOTES FOR FORMER CITIZENS. If a candidate in an election dies or renounces their citizenship after the ballot papers are produced but before the votes are counted, a ballot paper on which a preference for that candidate is recorded shall be taken to record a preference for the candidate for whom the next available preference is recorded. If there is no such candidate, they shall be set aside.
  12. AUTOMATIC VOTE-COUNTING. As an alternative to the procedure above, the Secretary of State may perform the vote counting above by means of automatic software. The details of such software shall be published in the General Assembly, and the Secretary of State shall either:
    1. certify that the software will count the votes with essentially the same results as the procedure above; or,
    2. detail the differences between the procedure above and the software's procedure; in which case the General Assembly shall be required to endorse the use of this software by majority vote.

TITLE VI: Challenging the result of the Election

  1. A citizen may petition the Landsdoom to challenge the validity of the election, of any vote cast or the conduction of the election if he feels that his rights under the Constitution and law of Fiôvâ have been violated. Such a petition shall be filled within thirty (30) calendar day from the ending of the election
  2. The Landsdoom may either dismiss the case, by declining to hear it, or begin hearing arguments in the matter as presented by all relevant parties.
  3. The Landsdoom shall rule on the case within twenty (20) calendar days from the reception of the petition. Should this time elapse and no decision be rendered as to whether the Landsdoom will hear the matter brought before it, an unwillingness to hear the case is implied.
    1. The Landsdoom may issue an injuction to restrain the Secretary of State to certify the result of the election until the ruling.
  4. Should the Landsdoom rule in favour of the plaintiff, it may rule either that:
    1. there be a recount of the ballots by a person or persons independent of the Office of the Secretary of State, and that the result of this recount shall be certified as the official result of the election;
    2. the final vote tally shall be adjusted to disregard an invalid vote, include a wrongly discarded vote or include a new vote;
    3. the election be declared void and a new election held under the procedures outlined in this Act.
  5. The decision of the Landsdoom may be appealed to the Uppermost Cort.